Ahead of the match yesterday, I wrote that (after Aguilar and Pella) Nicolas Almagro would be the first real test for David. He was - but one that David passed with flying colours, prevailing 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(3).
And not even 28 aces, the equivalent of 7 service games, could save the defending champion. In the end, Almagro won three points more than David. But it was David, who won more of the important points - and that's not always the case with him.
In today's semifinal, he will now face Simone Bolelli, currently ranked #80. It will be David's first match against the Italian but apparently, he knows who Bolelli is (see clip below).
But back to yesterday's quarterfinal. A very brief chronology of events.
In the second set, it was Almagro who saved a couple of break points at 1-1. David remained solid in his service games until a couple of forehand errors and a double fault cost him his serve, to give Almagro a 5-3 lead. Four points later, he took the set, 6-3.
In the third set both held easily until 4-4. In the following game David faced and saved two break points and then he did the same again at 5-5. In the eventual tiebreak, David slipped during the first rally (pic) but immediately recovered the resulting mini-break. After another mini-break at 3-3, David had 3 match points at 6-3, Almagro had to rely on a second serve - and David hit a clean return winner. 7-6(3)
That David's game remains intact even after long pauses is something he has proven before. If his serve is more stable now (as I'm beginning to hope after this match), we'll see. And how much this match has taken out of him, the semifinal will show. But this match and this kind of victory is something we didn't get to see from David in a long time. And whatever may happen today, it's a great start for the season.
The last words (in English) I'll leave to David, about the match and about his next opponent: